Nicolette Knauf helped keep an inexperienced Schenectady soccer team on track. Seven Terry helped a Schenectady football team bounce back and reach its potential.
“I would tell the guys, ‘You’ve just got to keep working,'” Terry said. “I’d tell them it’s going to be all right, and let’s work on what we can fix.”
The senior Patriots, both team captains and honor roll students, were among a group of 29 Suburban Council Excellence in Leadership Award recipients earlier this week.
“It has to do with how I presented myself to my teammates and my coaches,” Terry, the Patriots’ quarterback and defensive safety, said of receiving the honor. “How hard I worked and how that effort impacted others. My teammates told me I was a good role model.”
Other Patriots looked up to Knauf.
“I got it because I didn’t just play a sport,” Knauf, who goes by “Nic” to her friends, said. “I wanted to be a part of it.”
The all-star goalkeeper played a big role with all of her team-bonding efforts, her saves and all of her encouragement and instruction in practices and games.
“We don’t have a [recreation] program through Schenectady, so over the years, we’ve had inexperienced teams,” Knauf said. “This year, we had a good connection, but that inexperience showed at times. I did as much as I could.”
Schenectady’s varsity girls’ soccer team won only one game, on its Senior Night against Albany.
“I am very vocal,” Knauf, a first-team Suburban Council all-star, said. “I’d tell my teammates, ‘I don’t care if you miss the ball. Try your hardest. Give it 100%.’ They listened to what I had to say. At the same time, I listened to what they had to say, and we tried to figure it out.”
Knauf was a busy goalkeeper last fall, making 200 saves while allowing 50 goals.
“We were in a lot of close games. A lot of 1-0s,” the three-year varsity starter said. “We still had a fun time.”
Schenectady’s varsity football team had a load of fun over the last three weeks of its fall season when, after losing to Shaker, it beat Saratoga Springs, Bethlehem and Averill Park to finish 6-3. The Patriots won one game in each of Terry’s first two varsity seasons.
“His leadership was awesome,” Schenectady football coach Carm DePoalo said of the Section II Class AA Offensive Player of the Year. “He stayed steady through the ups and downs. Those will be tough shoes to fill.”
Terry said he enjoyed helping younger players.
“They didn’t understand how important it was to stay level-headed. They took things too personal when the coaches yelled,” Terry said. “I’d try to explain things to them, and to see them mature as the season went along was great.”
Terry passed for 16 touchdowns and ran for 13 scores in the turnaround season, and was named to The Daily Gazette All-Area first-team offense. The 18-year-old also bowled for Schenectady and had the high six-game block at the Section II Class A tournament, and served as a unified basketball coach.
“I had fun with that,” said Terry, who will focus on his studies in sports management at Springfield. “It was a good experience.”
Knauf intends to study business administration and play soccer at Roberts Wesleyan. The 18-year-old also played lacrosse at Schenectady.
The other Suburban Council Excellence in Leadership Award recipients were Alison Hayes (Albany), Andre Woods (Albany), Eric Schuman (Averill Park), Lydia Ware (Averill Park), Caroline Wise (Bethlehem), Nicholas Zigrosser (Bethlehem), Hannah Shell (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake), Sam Lindberg (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake), Samantha DeVito (Ballston Spa), Keegan Zoller (Ballston Spa), Daniel Kelly (CBA), Ahnalese Pearson (Colonie), Logan Scott (Colonie), Ashley Murtaugh (Columbia), Owen Stefanko (Columbia), Chris Ardito (Guilderland), Jessi Coton (Guilderland), James Murphy (Niskayuna), Madeleine Beltramo (Niskayuna), Dolly Cairns (Saratoga Sprigs), Garrett Myers (Saratoga Springs), TJ Randall (Shaker), Tori Mariano (Shaker), Danielle Casey (Shenendehowa), Jacob Reinisch (Shenendehowa), Andre Burke (Troy) and Madison Rifenberick (Troy).